Children's services under the microscope

Children's services under the microscope

Published by KLFM
6:45pm 19th June 2020.

Norfolk County Council's scrutiny committee is to discuss children's services' response to the Covid 19 pandemic, at its next virtual, online meeting (23 June).

The committee will receive a presentation from director of children's services Sara Tough and her team, about how the council supported vulnerable children and families and supported schools to reopen, in line with Government guidelines.

Councillor Steve Morphew, chair of scrutiny, said his committee would undertake a robust examination of the council's response to Covid 19, looking systematically at "what went right, what went wrong and how we can improve planning for the future", including how to prevent or reduce future spikes.

He said: 

"We are starting with children's services because of the wide-ranging nature of the response and the impact on children and families in the county. We were on the verge of setting up a longer-term way of scrutinising children's services, because of the volume and detail of functions they are responsible for - lockdown delayed that.
"There now needs to be proper coordination between looking backwards, responding to current events and planning for the future. Scrutiny's role is to make sure that is being joined up, comprehensive and properly resourced for the targets set."

Cllr Morphew said that future meetings would be asking searching questions on other Covid 19 response issues, including care homes and the care sector and Norfolk's recovery plans. He also said a specialist group may have to be set up, alongside currently-timetabled scrutiny meetings.